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by Brad Meltzer
William Morrow, March 2022
432 pages
ISBN: 0062892401

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Meeting Nola Brown is a unique experience. Her reluctant, somewhat informal partner, "Zig" Zigarowski, characterizes Nola as "volatile and dangerous as a bolt of lightning." Brad Meltzer's second Nola & Zig Novel certainly supports that description as Nola and Zig find themselves thrown together in a complex tale anchored by an incident at a top-secret U.S. military facility (named Grandma's Pantry) years ago.

Zig, a mortician, and Nola, a discharged Army artist, work together when Col Archie Mint turns up dead, and both want to find out what is behind his murder. Zig wants to know why there was a specific request for him to process Mint's body for burial, especially since the request attracts Nola's attention. Nola's history with Mint during a highly classified operation creates a desire for payback on Nola's part. Working separately, but sharing some information, Nola and Zig both contact their sources to uncover whatever leads they can. As the story progresses, the Army, the FBI, drug dealers, bank robbers, and a pair of paid killers are in the mix.

Meltzer's imagination produces a riveting tale with lots of characters to track, unexpected twists, and a good bit of background on the various primary players. Subplots prove intriguing as the author layers the activities of the various character groups to propel the storyline forward. Meltzer also continues to fill in more backstory for the eccentric Nola Brown and the unconventional Zig. Idiosyncratic protagonists and original storytelling make this Brad Meltzer's Nola & Zig novel an unforgettable read. And to make sure readers don't forget, Meltzer's startling twist on the novel's last page provokes thoughts about the quirky Nola and her future.

Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton's, a city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, March 2022

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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